The Best Ruger 10/22 Rifle Barrels – 2020 Buying Guide

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The heart of a rifle, including a Ruger 10/22, is its barrel. Having a top of the line barrel is very important if you want to have a top notch gun. In this article, we are here to help and guide you on the buying journey of buying a new custom barrel.

Comparison of the Best Ruger 10/22 Barrels

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Available in 16.5 or 18.5 inches in length
  • Made from high-quality stainless steel
  • Silver anodized finish
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  • Barrel twist of 1:16
  • Measured at 20 inches in length
  • Made from 4140 steel
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  • Available in lengths of 16.5 or 18 inches
  • Barrel twist of 1:16
  • Constructed from chrome coated molle steel
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  • 16.5 inches in length
  • Twist of 1:16
  • Matte black finish
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  • Measured from 16.5 to 18 inches in length
  • Barrel twist of 1:16
  • Cerakote finish added for enhanced toughness
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  • Measured at 16.25 inches
  • Twist of 1:16
  • Constructed from heat-treated molle steel
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What Barrel Length Do I Need?

The short answer: it depends. Typically, length could be a personal preference. But keep in mind that you may need something that will improve the accuracy and velocity of your 10-22 rifle. However, in some states, there are restrictions on how long a barrel has to be for a rifle. For example, in the state of New York, a barrel will need to be no shorter than 16 inches. If you live in a gun restrictive jurisdiction, please consult your laws as to which length minimum will meet the compliance laws. 

Volquartsen LR measures 16.5" and weighs 1.87 lbs

What to Look For When Buying a 10/22 Barrel

When looking for a 10/22 barrel, it’s always a great idea to know which features and characteristics will stand out the deciding factors for purchasing one. It’s important to choose a barrel wisely so you can meet your intended goals when it comes to improving your rifle. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

Price

The price will likely be a possible concern for those on a budget. But it shouldn’t be that much of a big deal. What should matter most is the quality and performance. If you are on a budget, you should never sacrifice the quality of a barrel because of affordability. Instead, get the best quality that fits your budget so you can keep it for longer periods of time rather than just keep switching out barrels ever so often.

Material

Most, if not all, barrels will be made from a type of high-quality steel (or aluminum). It’s important to find the right kind of material that is not only durable but also able to resist all kinds of heat due to extended use. The stronger the material, the better the chance that it can last long.

Installation

Installing the barrel will obviously come later on. But it’s always a great idea to consider purchasing a barrel that will be easy to install (or what is known as a drop-in design). A drop-in will take minutes and almost no gunsmithing skills to get it installed. That will definitely save you a lot of time and money.

Barrel Characteristics and Important Info to Know

Rifle barrels contain spiraled cuts in the bore known as lands and grooves that make up rifling. The degree of the rifling is known as its twist rate and represents a complete revolution in its denominator. For example, a rifle with a 1 in 10″ twist means that the bullet makes a complete rotation for every 10 inches of barrel length or 2 complete rotations for a 20″ barrel.

This rate is based upon the projectile of the round in question. In that sense a 55 grain 223 bullet will remain stable in flight when fired through a barrel with a 1 in 12″ twist, whereas a longer bullet such as a 70 grain projectile might require a much tighter twist rate such as 1 in 7″. Most rifles chambered in 22 long rifle caliber are best suited for a 1 in 16″ twist.

Another important characteristic of a barrel is its outside diameter or profile. The act of firing a round causes the barrel to vibrate like a tuning fork and heat up rapidly. Rapid firing of a heavy caliber through a thin barrel will cause these harmonics to alter the strike of the round, while a thicker barrel will conduct less heat and less vibration.

The downside of using a heavy barrel is the excessive weight it gives the rifle. This factor makes most target rifles unsuitable for most hunting purposes if the rifle is to be carried for long distances.

Lastly, as silencers or sound suppressors are now legal in 43 states, another consideration to look for is a threaded muzzle to attach a silencer and reduce the rifle’s sound signature to make shooting safer and more pleasant.

Most rim fire silencers in the United States are designed to be used with threads cut to ½ X28 TPI (threads per inch). For states that do not allow silencers, these happen to be the same thread patterns for the most common flash suppressors or muzzle brakes.

In summary, when looking for a Ruger 10/22 replacement barrel, the shooter wants a contour of no greater than 1”, with a twist of 1 in 16” and if a silencer or other muzzle device is to be used, muzzle threads of ½ X 28” and a weight to not exceed 3 lbs.

Quick Take - The Best Ruger 10/22 Barrels

These are our recommendations for the best barrels for the Ruger 10/22:

  1. Volquartsen LR Barrel
  2. Green Mountain
  3. Er Shaw Target Barrel

Review of the Best Ruger 10/22 Barrels

The following is a list of the best 10-22 barrels that are currently on the market. You should consider looking carefully at each barrel so you know what to expect and possibly find any features and characteristics that will stand out as interesting. 

Below you will see the top Ruger 1022 barrels currently available for purchase. They have been put into an easy to read table that makes it very simple to find the one you are looking for. Don’t worry, if you are one that needs a little more information about a specific model then you can view the section below where we review each one in depth.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the first barrel on the market:

Best Overall: 
Volquartsen LR Barrel

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Really durable
  • Perfect alignment
  • Perfect for various applications
  • Allows for accurate and precise shooting

Cons

  • Some fitting may be required
  • Lubrication may be need before use
  • Shooting groups can be inconsistent at times

What Recent Buyers Report 

New users were able to install this barrel without any additional issues. Once installed, they said they were able to get a small boost in accuracy from up to 100 yards. One user said he needed a boost in order to land the perfect kill shot while hunting for varmint or big game. So far, he had no complaints as far as shooting was concerned. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

When it comes to space age quality in a rifle barrel, Volquartsen wrote the book. For decades, this company has been at the cutting edge of providing custom upgrades to Ruger’s lines of 22 rim fire rifles and pistols. Their barrels are considered some of the best in the world.

This barrel comes in two different lengths. But regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be able to get improved  accuracy and velocity out of them. 

They make their barrels for the Ruger 10/22 and its bolt-action brother, the 77/22. They are perhaps the only manufacturer offering parts and upgrades for Ruger’s discontinued 10/22 that was briefly available in 22 Winchester Magnum Rim Fire.

Their barrel sleeves are constructed from either aluminum or space age carbon fiber with steel on either end to promote tension and rigidity. The barrels are threaded for use with a cantilever scope mount as opposed to mounting on the receiver. They do not offer a threaded barrel at this time but do offer a variant with a multi-purpose compensator.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you are looking for a tough barrel that won’t weigh down your rifle the moment you install it, then you’ll be in good hands. You’ll see an instant change compared to your old barrel and it will definitely give you a leg up in any application. Don’t be surprised if this also ends up being a barrel that lasts you years or decades. 

Bottom Line

The Volquartsen LR is by far one of the toughest and most reliable barrels that you can find for a 10-22 rifle. By the time you are finished with installing this, you’ll be able to put this to the test at the range and be able to crank out as many shots as possible with more pinpoint accuracy than you never thought was possible. 


Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Simple installation
  • Superior toughness
  • Fit and finish is perfect
  • Really tight shooting groups

Cons

  • Fitting may be required
  • May take a little while longer to break-in
  • Some say it’s a bit heavier than most expect

What Recent Buyers Report 

A lot of new users were quick to point out how sturdy this barrel was and how it was really hard to scratch and damage due to the coating. The installation was a cinch for most users and they also noticed tight shooting groups in an instant. One user said that he was very happy with how the shots were consistent and so close together after shooting off about 100 rounds at various distances at the range.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

For a traditional carbon steel or stainless steel barrel, look no further than Green Mountain Replacement barrels. Green Mountain offers a Bentz chamber in their rifles.

These barrels are offered in either the standard .920” thick heavy barrel variety and fluting is available to reduce weight and increase cooling. The fluted barrels weigh in at 2.72 lbs. whereas the non-fluted versions weigh 3.25 lbs.The only downside to these barrels other than the heavier weight is that a threaded version is not available.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is the best barrel for a wide variety of applications. It’s great for heavy-duty rifles and will handle so many rounds for as long as possible. It’s corrosion and rust-resistant and will have the longevity factor on its side. If this is the barrel that you want, it might be the last one you ever buy for a 10-22 for a long time. 

Bottom Line

The Green Mountain 10/22 LR barrel delivers a superior performance like nothing else. But it’s quality is something to marvel about as well. This will look great on your 10/22 rifle and will rise above and beyond in any application. Whether you are going after varmint or competing this barrel is not one to underestimate. 

Best for the Money:
 ER Show Target Barrel

Pros

  • Drop-in design
  • Not too heavy in weight
  • Really tough both inside and out
  • Allows for sharp, accurate shooting
  • Great for hunting and target shooting

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report 

According to most users, they expected the barrel to be a bit heavy in weight. But they were completely surprised by the time they installed this that it didn’t add on any additional (or unnecessary) weight to their rifles. One user said he is still able to quickly swing his rifle around in case he heard some noises of an approaching animal. To add, he also said that his shooting groups were consistently tight after 100 rounds. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

ER Shaw offers high polished blue carbon steel and stainless steel heavy barrels that are cut with a Bentz chamber to ensure reliability as well as promote accuracy. These heavy contour barrels are available with fluting and most importantly have a threaded muzzle that will accept silencers, muzzle brakes and flash suppressors threaded ½ X28 TPI.

If these barrels have one drawback, aside from their relatively heavier weight, it is that they will not function with inexpensive ammunition like CCI Stinger or aluminum cased Blazer ammunition.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be perfect for most 10-22 rifle shooters. Some will be hunters, some will be target shooters, and others will do both. If you are serious about getting a barrel that is tough, lightweight, and will provide all kinds of consistently tight shooting groups then you’d be hard-pressed to find a barrel quite like this anywhere else. 

Bottom Line

The E.R. Shaw Ruger Target barrel is your reasonably priced solution for increasing accuracy and making every shot as pinpoint and razor-sharp as possible. This barrel is lightweight, super sturdy, and a force to be reckoned with by the time you get this installed onto your rifle. If this doesn’t impress you in more ways than one, we don’t know what will. 

Pros

  • Easy install
  • Really sturdy
  • Ridiculously light in weight
  • Best used for numerous applications
  • Included suppressor does a great job reducing recoil

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report 

This barrel was a huge hit for most users. They were very intrigued by the overall design. But they were even more impressed with the overall performance. Installation took about a few minutes and it quickly reduced a good amount of recoil. One user said because of this reduction he was able to get a bit more control over his rifle than ever.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This barrel is the only 10-22 barrel that will be useful for anyone interested in customizing their rifle to the best of their abilities. It might be for accuracy, reducing recoil and eliminating muzzle jump, and even allowing shooters to gain maximum control over their rifles. The better control you have, the better your shots will perform. Of course, it can take a barrel that will measure at a reasonable length and made from materials that are super tough and won’t overheat as easy after extended use. 

One of the downsides of mounting a suppressor or silencer to a firearm is that it can increase the overall length by as much as 8 inches, turning a lightweight and handy rifle like the Ruger 10/22 to a piece that becomes unwieldy. One solution is to decrease the length to less than 16” another is to use Tactical Solutions’ SB-X barrel.

The rifled portion of the SB-X measures 12.5”. An expansion chamber 4.25” long extends beyond the muzzle and has internal threads to accept and encapsulate a rim fire silencer as a protective shroud. Tactical Solutions offers these barrels for the standard Ruger 10/22 and its newest popular takedown model.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is for those who want nothing more than a customized rifle from one end to the other. You’ll be in for quite a surprise if you are expecting just a regular barrel for a 10-22 rifle. It allows you the opportunity to install a suppressor, muzzle brake, or any other accessory that is intended to reduce noise, recoil, or anything else that might hinder your shots or overall control.

Bottom Line

The Tactical Solutions SB-X barrel will exceed so many expectations and will definitely be an excellent choice for anyone who may be considering the idea of reducing their rifle’s overall recoil. It’s no secret that you want more control and better accuracy in the process. So a barrel like this could be right up your alley if you want your rifle to stand out among the pack. 

Pros

  • Excellent durability
  • Works for every application
  • Simple installation. Takes a few minutes
  • Doesn’t easily get scratched when cleaning
  • Lightweight. Doesn’t feel like you are holding a dumbbell once installed

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report 

According to the new buyers, they were able to install this and be able to put through as many as 100 shots through this barrel. As a result, they were able to notice tight shooting groups that were consistent at various ranges. One user said that this barrel might have played a role in turning his 10-22 rifle into a sharp shooting machine. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

These barrels are made of an aluminum alloy with a steel liner in order to give the same contour as a heavyweight target barrel without the excessive weight of a full steel version. Byers claims that the 7075 aluminum billet is stronger than most barrel steels on the market and that their barrel dissipates heat better than steel.

In addition to the standard 22 long rifle caliber, Byers offers these barrels in 17 HMR for an easy caliber conversion. The manufacturer recommends a heavier bolt carrier and charging handle assembly to ensure reliability in the 17 HMR configurations.

The barrels are coated in Cerakote for a durable finish to resist surface wear and the muzzles are threaded ½ X28 TPI. Rifling is a standard 1 in 16” twist and the 22lr variants weigh less than 1 pound.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be perfect for any shooter that just wants nothing more than a barrel that can stay durable for as long as possible. You’d be surprised how a barrel that is in hardcore quality can stand so many shots no matter how many shooting sessions you have at the range or when you are out knocking down varmint targets. It’s the barrel that will stick with you for years and even decades if you take great care of it. 

Bottom Line

If you want superior quality and performance in one barrel, the Beyers Ultralight is probably right up your alley. Especially when you want a barrel that will give you nothing but the best in accuracy for the applications that matter most. No barrel could ever come close to this when it comes to the rock hard quality that goes along with it. 

Pros

  • Break-in is short
  • Great for various purposes
  • Drop-in design for easy install
  • Accurate shooting at various distances
  • Easy to Install
  • Button Rifled
  • Threaded for Suppressors

Cons

  • Requires Adjustment With Standard Models

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most of the new users say that this barrel didn’t take long to install or break-in. Once it was fully broke in, the accuracy was outstanding at various distances. One user said that his shooting groups were ridiculously tighter than his factory default barrel. He added that he uses his 10-22 rifle for hunting purposes and is looking forward to his next opportunity to nail his next kill shot. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is one of the few barrels that you’ll find on the market that undergoes extensive tests for quality before they ever hit the market. And since it passes the test with flying colors, you’ll know right away that you are dealing with some excellent quality. It will probably be next to indestructible. If you want a barrel that boosts accuracy and precision at the snap of a finger and won’t easily scratch or dent, this might be your cup of coffee.

This barrel from F.J Feddersen is a .920 bull threaded, 16.25-inch barrel, which is the perfect replacement for your existing one. The barrel features a chrome moly steel-based design with a matte black finish to complement its aesthetics.

The barrel features the latest 5R rifling which has been crafted into the bore using button rifling techniques, so it does comply with the latest standards and technology. The barrel is threaded on the muzzle end to accept suppressors.

Plus, the barrel also comes with threaded caps to protect the threads. The 1:16 twist rate of the barrel is suitable for the .22 cartridge, considering its weight and ballistics. The barrel doesn’t fit directly into the standard Ruger 10/22, but with proper relief of the barrel channel, it will fit in. The barrel can be used for competitions, target practice, or even hunting.

This bull barrel can be used to fire magnum ammunition as well. Its length is apt enough to attain accuracy and also adhere to the rifle-length regulations in most states. If you prefer quality over price, this barrel is the best replacement for your Ruger 10/22.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is a multi-purpose barrel that will be useful to any user looking to give their 10/22 rifle not only the shooting improvements it needs but also the ability to make this as aesthetically sharp as possible. There is nothing that will stand out better than a good looking rifle that can shoot with such precision and accuracy. And your fellow shooters just might envy you for that. 

Bottom Line

This Feddersen barrel has the latest rifling, a good twist rate, and pleasing aesthetics. It can be used for casual use, as well as competitive shooting. The barrel has been reported to improve the accuracy of the 10/22 substantially. Overall, it is the best and probably the last barrel upgrade you’ll ever need. 

How to Install a 10/22 Barrel

Installing a barrel requires you to completely strip your rifle down to bolts and screws. Changing the barrel on your 10/22 can be an easy job if you follow certain steps. Make sure to keep a screwdriver, a punch, and a ⅜ hex key at hand before starting the job.

  1. The very first step is to separate the action from the stock. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the barrel band and stock retaining screw.

  2. Next, you will need to disassemble the action. Remove the takedown pins to separate the trigger assembly from the receiver. Once done, remove the bolt, charging handle, and the recoil spring, so that you’re only left with the barrel and the receiver.

  3. Now, use the hex key to remove the barrel retaining screws from the front end of the receiver. You might also want to inspect the clamp here, which may have some cracks. Remember that this is also a good point to clean your rifle.

  4. Now pull the barrel out from the receiver and seat the new barrel there. It might require some tapping and thumping.

  5. Once done, put the clamp screws back and assemble your rifle by revisiting the above steps in reverse. Make sure to check the rifle’s functionality after full assembly.

For detailed instructions on changing the barrel, you can refer to this video below:

Conclusion

This article should help you find the right barrel that will work best for your needs as well as your guns needs. We rated the top barrels currently on the market in 2019 so if you decide to choose any of the barrels we mentioned in this article then you can’t go wrong with your choice.

If you would like to customize your rifle even more with cool accessories then make sure to go check out our parts and accessories page. There you will find all kinds of cool stuff for your Ruger.

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!